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Russian police said Tuesday they would drop drug charges against investigative journalist Ivan Golunov and release him from house arrest, in a rare climbdown by law enforcement following a public outcry.
Golunov, 36, a reporter with independent media outlet Meduza, was arrested last week on charges supporters said were trumped up to punish him for his investigative work.
“Today he will be released from house arrest and charges lifted,” Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said in a statement.
Kolokoltsev said he would seek President Vladimir Putin’s permission to sack the head of a Moscow police department and another senior official in charge of drug control in the Russian capital.